Millions around the world are dying from polluted air, but as countries get richer they usually clean up their air.
- Air pollution generally reduces as a country’s GDP increases. But China and India have particularly bad air pollution despite recent economic growth.
- 1.6 million more people in China and India are killed by air pollution each year than would be typical, based on other large middle-income countries.
- The death rate from air pollution in China is around three times higher than the average of high-income countries like the US, Japan and Germany.
- Air pollution death rates have fallen in China and India since 1990, but are still worse than in most similar countries. In India rates have not improved since 2010.
- Continued widespread use of coal is a major reason for the high air pollution death rates in both countries.
- Further coal-powered development will create health and economic risks for India and China.